Roche’s Avastin Fails to Win NICE Backing for Ovarian Use

Roche Holding AG (ROG)’s anti-tumor drug Avastin failed for the second time in two months to win the backing of the U.K.’s health-cost regulator as a treatment for ovarian cancer in a draft decision issued today.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommended against the drug as an initial treatment for women with ovarian cancer that has spread beyond the ovarian lining and then returned six months or more after first being treated with platinum-based chemotherapy. The guidance also covers fallopian tube and primary peritoneal cancer, NICE said.

Though Avastin “may help to delay the spread of a patient’s cancer for a limited time,” there wasn’t evidence to show the drug’s benefit justified its cost, Andrew Dillon, NICE’s chief executive, said in the statement. National Health Service patients have other options for treatment, Dillon said.

Today’s recommendation comes after NICE refused on Dec. 18 to back Avastin for use after ovarian cancer has initially spread. Ovarian is one of the types of cancer Roche has said will drive sales growth for Avastin. The agency in December said it wasn’t clear whether the drug helped women live longer.

Roche said in a statement it’s disappointed with the NICE decision and will work with the agency to get a different recommendation for both categories of ovarian cancer. Avastin was the first drug in 15 years shown to improve the outcome for women with advanced ovarian cancer, the Basel, Switzerland-based company said.

Avastin had 5.76 billion Swiss francs ($6.32 billion) in sales last year, making it Roche’s third-biggest-selling drug.

Both NICE ovarian cancer recommendations are draft decisions subject to final review.

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  • Just to let everyone know that these are provisional recommendations. Ovacome, as an expert witness, has made stiff representation as to why we feel their determination is wrong. We cannot share this at the moment, but we will do so as soon as possible.

    There are further meetings in the coming weeks, so hopefully the ship can be turned!

  • That's good to hear. It's so important that women with OC have access to anything that can make a difference. I sense this is just the first step? Has Avastin been approved for using against any other type of cancer?

    All the best, teamOvacome, with your negotiations on our behalf

    Love Wendy xx

  • Keep up the fight ,Louise! Let's hope they do change their minds.

  • Thankyou Louise and The Ovacome Team for fighting hard on our behalf, we are very greatful.

    Good luck with the negotiations. Anything we acn do to help?

    Love Suex

  • Would the drug be available privately?

    And does anyone know anything about Tamoxifan now being offered to women with the brca One gene defect?

  • You can get the drug privately, my onc told me it would probably be the only way to get it. The cost is estimated at £21600 for the 12 month course. Unfortunately it's is out of most peoples price range.

    Chris x :-(

  • it seems to me than the cost of avastin is worth more than womens lives.I wonder if any of these rank and file( supposedly educated people), how they would feel, if it was their wife, or daughter, or any other close family member had ovarian cancerI better they would have a totally different outlook.WE are not statistics we are real people with real lives and we deserve the chance to live like anyone else no matter what the cost.rant over.

  • Hi. . I was first diagnosed with OC 3c 6 years ago (almost to the day), I was 45. First a big hug to everyone here who has posted and offered such great support. I had a radical hysterectomy and was in remission post chemo. Over a year ago I had a recurrence. I was given carboplatin and taxol - and avastin. I have health insurance through the company I work for (who have been brilliant through my illness) and a wonderful oncologist who secured approval for avastin during chemo, and now as a "maintenance" drug. My CA125 was normal after 4 treatments, and I will have avastin for the full 15 month period, so till April. So far so good - who knows what the future holds, but it is disappointing there is little NICE support for a drug that in clinical trials has been shown to have a remedial effect for OC patients - the first drug in some 20 years to make a difference. As Poleglass says - cost over life - .how is that acceptable?

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